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Westlake Chemical is temporarily idling an ethylene plant in Lake Charles, La., that represents about half of its 2.5 billion lb per year of ethylene capacity. The company acknowledges that lower production, poor demand, and inventory write-downs will have a "materially negative impact" on its 2008 financial results. LyondellBasell Industries, meanwhile, is idling its Chocolate Bayou, Texas, olefins unit, which has 1.2 billion lb of ethylene capacity. The firm earlier idled its 1.7 billion-lb ethylene cracker in La Porte, Texas.
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